The 2011 Chardonnay Carneros is classy, layered and exceptionally beautiful. Lemon, apricots, pears and white flowers all wrap around the palate, but what stands out most is the sheer silkiness and textural finesse of the wine. Moreover, tropical notes emerge with time, but in the end, this is a fairly restrained Chardonnay from Mark Aubert. Sweet floral notes meld into the soft, caressing finish. In 2011, Aubert lost a considerable amount of fruit in Hyde. The bulk of the wine was sold off, but Aubert bottled the best 40% and declassified it into the Carneros appellation wine. Tasting the 2011, I can only wonder what might have been had the vintage not been so capricious. (AG)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)